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D2R 2.5 & Ladder Season 2 Barbarian Skills Changes - Diablo 2 Resurrected Updates From Patch 2.5
8/4/2022 5:45:43 PM

With Ladder Season 1 coming to a close in August, we should look ahead to patch 2.5 D2R! There were definitely a lot of great changes in patch 2.4 but a lot of skills were left behind and MacroBioBoi came up some ideas to assist incorporate these underused skills into the endgame builds. So in this guide, we are going to be discussing the proposed changes for skills for the upcoming season 2 and patch 2.5 Diablo 2 Resurrected. 


Diablo 2 Resurrected Ladder Season 2 Barbarian Skills Changes For Patch 2.5 - New D2R Updates Ladder 2

The barbarian is arguably the most powerful character in the game, adding too much more onto his kit will already inflate the ridiculous power that barbarian brings to the table. A lot of people hate the barbarian or think the barbarian is weak or think that it takes too long to get a barbarian off the ground, and to those people, just check out stuff like leap attack, check out war cry and even check out double throw because there are so many amazing early game options for the barbarian now, that all translate into the late game and all have really powerful late game builds that allow you to abuse one mechanic or the other to be able to cheat out a lot of power that a lot of other classes really don't have access to. Now let’s take a look at these changes to Barbarian skills in patch 2.5 D2R ladder season 2!


1. Grim Ward

You need a body on the ground, but only specific bodies you can't target a lot of different undead bodies and it will create a little totem basically a trap from the Assassin. This will apply a fear within its radius it will also slow monsters and it will reduce their physical damage reduction or their physical resistances. This is going to work similar to amp damage and decrepify. The problem being that it is a fear type curse and fear curses cannot be applied to bosses, so you can apply them to the boss of a pack, a champion pack or to an act boss. While this could be a tool for handling physical immune monsters, it can only apply to base monsters or minion monsters. So here are the proposed changes:

  • Remove corpse requirement: The first little suite of changes is remove the corpse requirement. Having a corpse requirement is kind of antithetical to how a barbarian should work because you want to be using find item. And since you get the maximum bonus out of grimward, you would max out find potion to bring it up to minus 125 physical damage reduction. You're gonna have a very strong find item. So it has a negative synergy in that regard and on top of that it means that you have to get a monster killed before you can apply the grim ward. So you have to be in the most dangerous place possible before you can get the benefit of the slow in the fear. If we're going to remove the corpse requirement, meaning you could just put a grim ward down within a radius of you literally summoning it like a trap like the assassin could.

  • Reduce its radius: Max radius gets up to be really high in fact it, clears the entire screen. So if we could proactively drop a grim ward at the edge of the screen and be fearing monsters on the next screen already as they become active, that's probably a bit too strong.

  • Limit totems 2-3: Add a limit to the totem, so perhaps a five trap limit like the assassin has, but probably more likely to be 2 or 3 just because if we can put down an infinite amount of grimwards which you can technically do right now if you have an infinite number of corpses, you would be able to proactively apply a fear ring to the entire edge of the screen and that's probably a little bit too strong and not the intended purpose of the skill itself.

  • Change to amp/decrep curse: The next big bullet change for grimward would be to change it to an amplified damage or decrepify curse or some other type of curse that doesn't apply a fear. Since it applies a fear you can't use this to actually reduce the physical damage reduction or break the immunities of bosses. And that drastically limits it and it almost forces every melee barbarian build to have access to berserk to have an access to a magical damage source, and limits build design and build diversity across the barbarian a lot more and grimward should be a secondary alternative to be able to manage physical immunities in the game for a character who is l supposed to be the best at fighting. If you change it over to one of the other curses and remove the fear effect in its entirety, it would also increase its usability or at least how easy it is to pilot using grimward.

D2R 2.5 & Ladder Season 2 Barbarian Skills Changes


2. Shout/Battle Command/Battle Orders

What it comes down to is we'd like to see the minimum duration for these skills brought up to about a minute. 

  • Minimum buff duration 1 minute: When you just get to level 30 and put your first point into battle command, you have battle command initially for 30 seconds and then 40 seconds if you use it to pre-buff yourself. That means that basically after every monster pack that you attack, you have to recast babarian in battle orders and since you're probably not going to be doing that, you more quickly run out of the duration. If it could just be brought up to a minute, it means that you could do a decent amount of your farming before having to reuse it. There's something to be said about other classes needing to cast battle command and battle orders more frequently since they're not a native barbarian and they're gaining access to a really powerful skill that they otherwise couldn't. So they still have to be more mindful of keeping the buffs up but the barbarian themselves should be able to enjoy the benefits of battle command starting at level 30 without ignoring it unless you're pre-buffing for your battle orders.

  • 1 to 20% IAS for hard points: For people who don't know skill increase attack speed is more powerful than item increased attack speed because it doesn't undergo diminishing returns. And the reason why we want to see it on mace spear in polearm is because 99 out of 100 barbarian builds are going to be using swords and axes as their best in slot gear in the end game. They just added one increased attack speed per hard skill point meaning you can max out at plus 20 increased attack speed. This would go a long way to make mace options, spare options and poll arm options for a diversity of builds be a lot better.


3. Increased Stamina

Putting a point in to increase stamina does not increase the power of your character. Other than specifically for a frenzy where you may not even max out increased stamina, increased stamina does nothing for your barbarian. For people who don't even know what it does, you have a little yellow bar down called your stamina and stamina stops being a problem at level 5 because you're never running anywhere for so long that you actually run out of stamina. The first thing this would probably be the biggest hurdle is achanging the name of the skill because for the proposed changes to the skill, increased stamina really doesn't actually describe what these changes would be.

  • Change name to resilence: Change the skill name to resilience and now you can open up what it does. Because even if it still increases your maximum stamina that is literally making you more resilient. You're able to run for longer without having to face any physical issues, for your character, they are more resilient. Now that we've changed over to a skill name that would actually represent what the skill would do, there are three different options:

(1) +1 life per skill point: Add increased to flat life, then less increased life per soft point from plus skills. While this goes a long way in the mod seem to be a really good option for this in D2R, it is a little bit too powerful because adding that flat life to your character from the skill should be hit by battle orders and then you're getting a massive amount of additional life from that percentile increase. So that is not the cleanest option but it might be the easiest.

(2) Physical/magic damage reduce: This is something that reduces incoming damage by a flat amount whether or not it is physical or a magic damage source including the elemental damage types. This would go a long way for why you are more resilient you literally take less damage, but adding percentile damage reduction would be very much too strong for this skill and very difficult to balance around. In addition to that considering increased stamina is only used on a frenzy build, being able to add additional damage reduction to a melee class that needs to get in close and personal, makes a lot of sense and would help the early game and hardcore versions of these builds just feel a lot better until you have better gear.

(3) Faster hit recovery: If you put a couple points into this skill and then have plus skills from gear, would make it so that you could remove one to two faster hit recovery grand charms from the build means you could add on additional life or additional gold find and magic find, additional damage. if i wanted to i also really like the idea of putting a couple points here being able to hit the next fast hit recovery break point especially on something like a singer barbarian where you would really like to be able to stack other things down your grand charms than hit recovery i think it also just makes sense you are more resilient so you are literally able to recover from being hit in a very hard way faster it would be within the theme of the barbarian and it's kind of interesting to me that the barbarian doesn't have access to fashion recovery from its combat mastery skills and then you wouldn't feel bad putting in the one point so that you could get increase speed later on i think that pound for pound the barbarian combat skills tree is the most well balanced and most well catered skill tree in the game the only problem with it are these three main skills right here they're skills that other than in a speed run scenario you are never going to see anybody use and we need to address that 


4. Bash

For people who don't know, the plus flat damage from bash is bugged and does not apply to your character's damage at all. While it looks like it does on the character screen, it actually only counts as physical damage after the damage calculation has happened, for the purposes of life stolen per hit and mana stolen per hit. 

  • Fix damage bug: What's interesting about bash is that you can actually life leach in mana leech as well as life tap leech off of monsters who are immune to physical damage because after the damage is dealt, it looks at how much bash damage you have and let's say you had 20 and it goes okay you dealt 20 physical damage. So if you have life tap up, here's 10 life back, so first we need to fix the skill bash.

  • Increase +xx damage: Other than that, what if bash said added flat damage and it works correctly, you can only use the skill if you are unarmed. Finally making the last niche build version of the barbarian being the pugilist.

  • Only usable while unarmed: For the barbarian who's supposed to be the master of all forms of combat, it's interesting that he is absolutely terrible at unarmed combat. If bash could only be used without having a weapon equipped and we would add a second mechanic to the game which would be that barbarians have damage on their gloves, when attacking unarmed, you really open up a whole new category of a barbarian fighting style.

  • Gloves have “x to xx damage: So let's say your steel rend ogre gauntlets added 10 to 50 damage when used in unarmed and now you have bash as well adding flat damage. You see how you could now have and it would still be an absolute meme, only joke runs would do it, you'd see every single streamer doing challenge runs of it. But it'd be really cool if a gloves actually had damage on them for melee attacks, bash could only be used if you don't have a melee weapon equipped, you could have punch shield barbs in this way. It would make it so that bash could actually have an identity because there's no world within which you're going to use bash as it currently is for any type of build, because every other end game attack skill for the barbarian is just strictly better.


5. Stun

Stun will incapacitate any base monster hit with it, it will apply a stun to them meaning they can't take actions. Secondly, it can be applied to bosses of elite packs and champions but has a reduced chance of being applied. And if it's used in pvp, it won't incapacitate another player while they have the stun debuff on them, they will always be put into hit recovery when they are attacked, so it has some viable use there. The problem is that stun as the skill itself actually doesn't do damage, you'll see that the damage increase is solely from its synergy with bash. And on top of that, if you check out the synergies, you'll see that has a duration synergy with war cry. The problem with that is if you're going to be putting points into war cry, it is going to deal physical damage and it is going to apply stun to all monsters within its radius at fcr frames which are almost double the speed that you're ever going to be able to attack with a weapon. You would never use stun in any scenario where you have points in war cry. With stun, you have to hit the target to be able to apply this stun. 

Stun has to be replaced with a completely different skill in its entirety. There's nothing you could do to it where other skill identities aren't already fulfilling that role and even if you were to add on a ton of damage with this, we can't imagine a build that would actually prioritize using. 


6. Concentrate

People may not know that concentrate is actually like a pretty dope skill, but it is. So it causes you to be uninterruptable, the place where you see concentrate get used the most often at least in the speedrun scene is against somebody like durial who is going to stun and knock you back. If he attacks you while you're doing a concentrate attack animation, you don't get knocked back and your attack is going to go off. You may not hit but your attack is going to successfully get to the point where it could hit. 

Concentrate has a niche use, it brings something to the barbarian that the barbarian can't otherwise get, it's a really safe and good option especially for hardcore where you need to know that your attacks are going to go off, so you have a chance to life leech, etc. It's in a good place and it does a cool thing and whether or not people use it isn't really a determining factor for if the skill is vibe.


7. Whirlwind

The changes to whirlwind are ultimately healthy and good for the game, it is strictly stronger for dual wielding whirlwind builds. It does nerf the maximum attack speed for two handed weapons as well as making whirlwind feel worse specifically in chaos sanctuary and you also need to open up at least one of your gear pieces for cannot be frozen, that being that whirlwind makes sense now, the skill is more intuitive what it does adds up. The changes to whirlwind were ultimately healthy, so it needs to go any further and depending on what you could do to this skill, you are going to break it in some key way. So as it stands right now, that whirlwind is good.

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